Climb On in Washington State

Washington is filled with opportunities for the whole gamut of climbing. Whether it’s glacier and ice or alpine or rock, Washington has it all for you. With Mount Rainier visible for hundreds of miles in each direction, its quiet presence is both an inspiration and invitation. We’re also blessed with many mountain ranges throughout the state, including the Cascades that divide the state east and west.

Rain or shine, throughout the year you’ll find climbing opportunities. You may have to dodge a raindrop or two but you'll discover something I’m sure. Just ask the seasoned climbers at a local gym; they can help steer you.

Even in winter, Frenchman’s Coulee may be calling you. Located near Vantage, with its towering basalt pillars, you can enjoy a nice southern exposure. The morning sun warms the rock and, shielded from the winds, these walls are a joy to climb. You're sure to find many climbers with the same thought. It never fails that when I’m there I see friends or acquaintances, some of whom I may not have seen for years—and this makes the experience even more enjoyable. With the adjoining Feathers area complete with camping opportunities it is a perfect weekend outing or day trip just to get your mid-winter rock climbing fix in.

If you’re not an outside rock climber, fear not. Indoor climbing gyms are great during inclement weather or when you can't find the time to get out of town. They’re mostly limited to bigger cities but still a viable option.

A local favorite of mine is Edgeworks in Tacoma. I began my climbing career here. It was a stepping stone into the larger world of climbing. An adventure that continues to this day. It is a nice size with plans for expansion. I've seen the plans and will be excited when it does happen. It has a very comfortable feel and has bouldering as well as top rope climbing. Take your pick. A lead climbing wall is also available and you can usually find a route open to enjoy. Click on the photo below for a video of me bouldering at Edgeworks.

Climb Tacoma is a bouldering gym that I frequent a bit less but if you are more inclined to bouldering, this has just what you want. All bouldering. No ropes, but just as fun.

Other indoor gyms in the South Sound area include Vertical World, Stone Gardens, Warehouse Rock and others. Climbing facilities like these are all over the state, so just Google “indoor climbing” and you’ll find someplace close to you I'm sure.

Time to get out and climb. Let’s Go!

Climb on Sam!
Climb on Sam!
Mohonk Preserve, aka the Gunks in upstate New York
Mohonk Preserve, aka the Gunks in upstate New York
Warming up with the granddaughters.
Warming up with the granddaughters.